Special Correspondent

Call for change in perceptions about employment and job

Need to harness employment potential fully stressedMany workers unable to sustain their families with their earningsCall for need to look at human capital policies more comprehensively

HYDERABAD: Is the inflexible labour regulation framework adopted by some of the major Asian countries leading to large-scale unemployment in the region? What amount of flexibility and at what level is needed to correct the imbalance?

These were some of the important questions that were raised during a seminar on `labour market strategies for inclusive growth' organised as part of the 39th annual general meeting of the Asian Development Bank here on Friday.

The speakers including Rana Hasan, economist in Economics and Research Department of ADB, ILO Public Integration Department director, Duncan Campbell and T.C.A. Anant, professor in Delhi School of Economics, opined that though the labour market regimes could not be exonerated from their effect on employment performance, there were other areas that needed to be addressed to fully harness the employment potential.

Job creation

Mr. Hasan said the size of underutilisation of available labour in the Asian region was "incredible" resulting in the fact that more than a billion workers were unable to sustain their families with earnings of less than $ 2 a day.

As the share of agriculture to the GDP's of the respective countries was on the decline, job creation in these economies was turning out to be lacklustre. This called for the need for looking at human capital policies more comprehensively.

According to Prof. Anant there was an urgent need for change in perceptions about employment and job to address the growing concerns over the employability.

The ADP has responded positively to the proposal made by Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy for setting up a regional training and entrepreneurial centre in Hyderabad.

In its response, the bank said it was interested in facilitating regional cooperation in the south Asian region and "we would be interested to know more about the proposal."

ADB's south Asia department director general Kunio Senga said that the topic had not previously been raised by the Central Government in the context of the bank's country strategy and programme.